Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct.16
By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:
The joint statement by the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan and the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group following the Geneva meeting of Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents is the most positive statement anyone has heard for quite some time, Matthew Bryza, former US ambassador to Azerbaijan and former co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, told Trend Oct.16.
That’s a positive statement, said Bryza, adding that it is both a general item, saying they want to reinvigorate the process, but also specific, saying, they intend to implement measures to reduce tension on the line of contact.
Further, he said that plans to organize working sessions by the co-chairs with the ministers would be a logical next step.
“If the presidents agree to reenergize the process then of course, it is the duty of co-chairs to organize such working sessions with foreign ministers. The process is getting some new energy. It is really good,” added Bryza.
President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan agreed to take measures to intensify the negotiation process over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict’s settlement and to take additional steps to reduce tensions on the line of contact between the two countries’ troops, reads a joint statement by the foreign ministers of Armenia and Azerbaijan and the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group following the Geneva meeting of the presidents.
President Aliyev and President Sargsyan held a summit in Geneva, Switzerland on October 16. Foreign Ministers Edward Nalbandian and Elmar Mammadyarov also attended the meeting, which was organized under the auspices of the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group (Igor Popov of the Russian Federation, Stephane Visconti of France, and Andrew Schofer of the United States of America). The Personal Representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Andrzej Kasprzyk also participated in the summit.
The meeting took place in a constructive atmosphere, according to the statement.
"The co-chairs expressed their satisfaction with these direct talks, which took place after a long interval," reads the statement. "They remain ready to work with the sides on mediating a peacefully negotiated settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. As a next step, the co-chairs will organize working sessions with the ministers in the near future."
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.
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